Auburn Tigers nation can breathe easy — for now. Their Heisman Trophy candidate quarterback has been declared eligible by the NCAA. On Monday, the NCAA concluded that a violation of amateurism rules had occurred and, consistent with the protocol of such an investigation, Cam Newton was briefly deemed ineligible. At that point, the university can request that the athlete be reinstated. If it is determined that the athlete was not directly involved, he or she can be reinstated while the investigation continues, as was the case with Newton.
While Cam Newton’s name is “clear” at the moment, the NCAA discovered what we already suspected and were confident in — that his father, Cecil Newton, worked with the owner of a scouting service to market and sell his son’s talents. SEC Commissioner Mike Silve spoke out against the conduct of Cam Newton’s father and the individual from the scouting service, saying it is “unacceptable” and “will not be tolerated in the SEC.”
On to the important part. It comes in the form of comments from Kevin Lennon, the NCAA’s vice president for academic and membership affairs:
In determining how a violation impacts a student-athlete’s eligibility, we must consider the young person’s responsibility. Based on the information available to the reinstatement staff at this time, we do not have sufficient evidence that Cam Newton or anyone from Auburn was aware of this activity, which led to his reinstatement.”